Salt! From human tears?

Soooooooo, this is kind of odd question to ask at the dining table, “Can you pass the human tears salt grinder, please?” To my fellow food enthusiasts, I want to know if this is something you’d have at the dining table. Leave comments! Let me know what you think!

I read this post on gizmodo.com:

Season Your Food With Salt From Real Human Tears

Would you like to season your french fries with some anger? No, really. I’m not being aggressive. Would you? Because the folks at Hoxton Street Monster Supplies have gotten really weird with it and made a line of salts from different types of human tears.

Just in case you didn’t process that one, yes, these condiments were harvested from the fruits of different emotions. And they’re real and you can actually buy them. Imagine how interesting that would make your next dinner party. Offer your guests the option of adding flavor to their food with salt made from tears of anger, which would probably taste rather fiery; tears shed from chopping onions, which presumably have a bit of a bite; tears of laughter, which are likely sweeter; tears of sorrow, which have to be pretty bitter; and tears shed from sneezing which are just the strangest thing ever.

The salts bring up a question too—how do you know they’re not counterfeit? How were they able to capture these authentic feelings and bottle them into such a wonderfully odd product? “Oh you’re mad at me? Hold on let me just gather your tears into this vial I happen to be carrying.” Probably an uncomfortable situation, but who cares, because, oh god, these tears are delicious.

My Babygirl Can Turn Over

My Elsa started turning over a few weeks ago but now she’s doing it so often! I swear it was just yesterday that this little bean was squirming around in my belly; and now, four and half months later she’s rolling around in front of my face. She’s been such a blessing and a true joy in my life. Elsa makes me strive to be a better person. She’s the reason I want to cook and bake more. I truly believe that cooking and eating together as a family keeps them together. Who knows, maybe when she get’s older she’ll learn a two or thing from me and make it a career. 🙂

Baby Pics

I’m an 80’s baby and I grew up with a family that was tech savvy. I learned how to use computers when I was in the 2nd grade! Naturally most of my pictures would be digital. Before this year, I don’t think I’ve printed a real photo in 4 years, with the exception of using my Polaroid camera. Now that I’m a mom I’ve realized that printing your photos is really important. Digital drives crash, get erased or sometimes just lost if it’s on a flash drive. I’ve made it a point to try to print all the important pictures in my life so that my daughter and future kids will have something to look back on. Print those pictures people!

Pineapple Cupcakes

I made these cupcakes once before and my cousin Matrix (yes, her name is really Matrix!) from Los Angeles requested that I bake them for her again while she was here visiting me. The first time I made these cupcakes I used vegetable oil. But lately I’ve been trying out different recipes with coconut oil and I thought this one was a success. The thing about substituting vegetable oil with coconut oil is that it’s solid in cooler climates so you have to melt it down. It melts to the touch so it’s really easy. One way you can melt it is by preheating your oven and putting the oil on top of the stove while you prep your other ingredients. I like to put it in the microwave for about 30 seconds. But, when you’re mixing the melted oil with cold ingredients it gets hard again so you have to use a double boiler to whisk it together. It takes a little extra work but I think it’s worth it. This is a delicious recipe I hope you like it!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups + 1 tbs granulated sugar
  • 1 can (8 ounces) crushed pineapple, drained

Makes:

About 18 standard cupcakes. Each cupcake serves 1.

Instructions:

Step 1

Preheat oven to 325°F. In medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. In separate metal mixing bowl, whisk together oil, buttermilk, eggs and vanilla. If the coconut oil starts to harden and becomes chunky put the mixing bowl over a saucepan of warm/simmering water and whisk gently until it’s melted again and fully blended. Stir in the sugar and pineapple. Add flour mixture; mix well. Pour into prepared pan.

Step 2

Bake 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan on rack; remove and cool completely before decorating.

Lazy Dinner

Khanh and I have been going back and forth from SF to Sacramento to check up on his parents’ house. They’ve been on vacation so we come and stay for a couple days every week to water the plants and make sure everything is still okay. We didn’t feel like going anywhere or ordering take-out and I don’t know where everything is and I don’t know what kind of spices his mom keeps in the cupboards so I went to Raley’s to look for some inspiration. At first I thought I’d fry up a couple of steaks, but then I thought about the grease splattering everywhere so I changed my mind. Then I saw this pre-prepared chicken cordon bleu pack in the raw meat section and thought, why not? Since I decided to take the easy way out of dinner I picked up a pack of frozen veggies with cheese sauce too.

If you’re a busy mom or just a busy person and wants to whip up something decent in a short amount of time this is a good way to go. The chicken goes in a baking dish in the oven at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. The veggies can steam in the microwave for 5 minutes which can be done while the chicken is finishing up in the oven. So in 35 minutes you’ve got a complete meal!

 

Bo Kho (Vietnamese Stew) Leftovers

I had leftover stew last night for dinner. Leftovers can be a drag to eat sometimes but this time I enjoyed it like I just made it! If you read my earlier post you’ll know I got the recipe from The Ravenous Couple. They suggest having it with pho noodles, but I like using the thicker pho noodles that are also used in pad thai. If there’s an Asian market near you you can usually find a pack of fresh noodles that’s enough for 2-3 bowls. I got mine from 99 Ranch in Daly City. All you need to do is reheat your stew, get another pot and boil water, put your fresh noodles in the pot of boiling water for a minute or two to soften them up and get the excess oil off, and put the noodles in the bowl add the stew, and voila! bon apetit!

Buffet…

Khanh woke up this morning and said he felt like eating at a buffet. This is a rare occasion. In the past year and half we’ve gone to only 2 buffets and it was because other people wanted it. Anyway, he took me to Moonstar Buffet in Daly City and the food was okay. I mean… what can I say, it’s buffet food! Everything was extremely greasy or dried out from being out on the warmers too long. The warmers weren’t even effective because most of the food was borderline cold. The best part of the meal was getting the check! We thought it was $20 a person but turns out it was less than $13 a person. So we didn’t pay as much as we thought we would and we probably won’t be eating at a buffet for a very, very, very long time.

Spam, Egg and Toast

A few months ago Khanh and I bought reduced sodium SPAM from Costco. And we all know, if you buy anything from Costco you’ve got a ton of it. So what do you do with all this spam? One way I like to have it is with breakfast. It’s so simple and you don’t have to add any extra grease because the spam will cook in it’s own fat. Khanh doesn’t normally eat breakfast so this meal is just for one. I have one slice of toast. I like to eat Alvarado St. Bakery California Style bread because each slice is only 90 calories, 15g of carbs and has 5g of protein. Two slices of spam and a poached egg. A lot of people think making a poached egg is difficult but it’s not! I only started making them a couple weeks ago and now I’m a pro! I prepare everything to finish at about the same time.

Ingredients:

1 slice of toast
2 slices of spam
1 egg
1 tbs white vinegar
dash of salt

Directions:

Crack your egg and put it into a shot glass or some kind of small container (I like using a 1/3 cup measuring cup because it’s got a handle). Fill a medium saucepan about 3/4 full with water and bring to boil then lower down to a simmer. Put the spam in a nonstick fry pan at medium-high heat and let it sit while you prepare you egg. Pour the white vinegar in the pot of simmering water and throw in the dash of salt. Stir it with a whisk and make sure you’ve got the water whirling around quite a bit (this is the most important part of poaching your egg) and pour the egg in the direction of the whirling water. You’ll see the egg white wrapping around your yolk. Let it sit for 3 minutes. During the three minutes flip your spam and put your bread in the toaster. When the three minutes is up take out the egg with a slotted spoon and put it on top of your spam and toast. Enjoy!

P.S. I’ll try to put up a video of how to poach an egg at some point. 🙂

Bo Kho (Vietnamese Beef Stew)

I can cook a lot of things, but when it comes to Vietnamese food I usually let my mom do the cooking… but, she’s older now and I can’t expect her to cook for me forever. I had been craving this dish for awhile and a couple weeks ago I had it at a restaurant and it just wasn’t that great. I needed to get my fix. Good Vietnamese food doesn’t really exist in San Francisco so I had to make my own. I found the recipe on www.theravenouscouple.com and the pictures looked pretty good so I tried it. I have to say, it’s pretty darn good! I skipped out on the beef tendon strips because Khanh doesn’t care for it too much, other than that I followed the recipe. You can find all the ingredients at an Asian market. I got everything I needed at 99 Ranch in Daly City.

The recipe follows:

Ingredients:

2 lbs beef shank, cut into 1.5 inch cubes
1/2 knob of ginger, thinly sliced
2 beef tendon strips or about 1/2 lb
1 stalk of lemongrass (white end bruised and slice into 4-5 inch stalk and tie together)
2 bay leaves
3-4 star anise seeds, (toasted optional)
32 oz of beef broth
4 medium sized carrots
2 tbs annato seed oil (see cooks note)

Marinade
1 tbs diced shallots
1 tbs minced garlic
1 tbs paprika
1 tbs minced lemongrass
1/2 tbs fish sauce
1/2 ts red chili powder
1/4 ts cinnamon
1/4 ts clove powder
1/4 ts anise powder
1 ts ground pepper
1 ts sugar

Accompaniments
Toasted French baguettes
Fresh Basil
Pickled Onions
lime/lemon wedges
Diced cilantro and green onions
Sliced jalapenos
Rice noodles

Directions:

In large mixing bowl, combine the beef shank with the spice marinade for at least 2 hours.

Saute the beef with 1 tbs of annato seed oil until browned and seared under medium high heat. Transfer this into the slow cooker. Add the beef tendons, stalk of lemonsgrass, star anise seeds, bay leaves, and beef broth. You may need to add more broth or water to just cover and submerge the beef.

Set slow cooker to lowest possible setting and allow to cook covered for overnight or about 8 hours. About 1 hour before it’s done, add the carrots. Just before serving add another 1 tbs of annato seed oil to the broth for a great red color. Make final adjustment and season to taste.

Cooks Notes:
You can also boil the tendon separately ahead of time on constant high boil for about 2 hours or until tender, then cut and add to the bo kho just before it’s done.

If you don’t have a slow cooker, simmer in big covered pot until beef is tender about 4 hrs.

To make annatto seed oil, heat 2 tbs of olive with 1/2 of annato seeds. The oil will be steeped with a red color. Do not allow oil to boil, when the color is steeped red, turn of heat and drain the seeds.
Pickle onions the same way you pickle the carrots and daikon with dilute vinegar, sugar, and salt. (www.theravenouscouple.com)

Hello World!

Here goes nothin’! My name is Vivian and I recently became a Mother! I’m mostly Vietnamese and a little Chinese. I have a baby girl named Elsa that just turned 4 months old yesterday. We live with her Daddy, Khanh, who is also Vietnamese and Chinese. I enjoy cooking and baking for him. I’ve started many blogs in the past but never managed to keep up. I guess I never felt like there was anything worth blogging about in my life until now. I’m here to share my experiences of having a new family, being a mom and a home cook. I’d love feedback or advice from any of my followers. Cheers!